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Home » CHFWeb Libraries » Titus Two Library » A Husband's Struggle With Pornography and A Wife's Pain
A Husband's Struggle With Pornography and A Wife's Pain [message #20] Tue, 19 April 2005 14:59
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Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

Hi, first I should say that I come from a very abusive background. When I met my dh I knew I wanted to marry him when he was in a very stressful situation and I said something very innocent but dumb and he didn't blow up, strike or leave me! Our first year of marriage was rough and he went for Christian counseling. (I should tell you he is a believer and came to Christ in college.) It was at this time that he let me know that when life was difficult he would partake of pornogaphy (this was something he was exposed to in high school). The counseling went very well and I thought he was healed. Honestly Ladies, I couldn't ask to be treated better. He is so loving and compassionate, and a great father. Well, 10+ years have passed and occasionally I would ask him if he was having any trouble in the area of porn and he would deny it. Well, the beginning of last year he was going away on business and one of the guys in his accountability group called him. I truly had no reason to "eaves drop" but I heard him giving this man his beeper #. So I asked him if this man planned on calling him while he was away. He said,"Yes, he just wants to talk about something." My dh left the next day, and I guess the Holy Spirit decided it was tme for me to learn the truth because all I could think about was a commercial I had heard on Christian radio about a man that didn't like to travel because of the temptations with porn,TV and cable. So when he called that day I confronted him and he broke my heart and admitted that he had never been able to get totally away from it. I've been broken ever since. Everyone in my life is so human, but nothing prepared me for this.
I have no family support and I NEVER expected him to let me down like this. I can't tell you how often people will approach us and tell us how they respect our marriage, and I just want to tell the world it is not true, it has been a big deception. The lying is the most painful part. He could have come to me and we could have battled it together, but he says he never wanted to hurt me like he has. His accountablity group knew about the problem, but he couldn't tell me.
My family has always caused so much pain. They continually lie to me and about me, I thought I could trust my dh.
I'm so confused, hurt and angry. I would never lie to him... The only lesson that I see for myself in this is that my husband is a man and he fell. Unfortunately he is the only adult in my life that I feel I had been successful at connectiong with.
I love him sooooo much. I still get so excited when I see his face. He is continually telling me and showing his love for me, but as you can tell I'm struggling. I can't except that if he truly loved me he would have done those things. Is it possible that he does love me and could fall in that way?
I would love for someone to explain this to me. I'm too ashamed to talk to anyone. He is on a business trip right now and I'm on a downward spiral.
Obviously I would love prayers, too.
Thank-you.


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:58 p.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

Dear Sister,

I understand that you are feeling deceived and lied to, but one thing is important for you to remember, this area of struggle for your husband has nothing to do with his love for you. He has been in continual contact with godly men to help him gain victory in this area. He has been working on keeping pure in this area. And he probably had a great fear that if he had told you about it many years ago your response would have been one of mistrust and disrespect for him as your husband. I am not trying to excuse his not being honest with you, but I am wanting you to see it from his perspective. If he had been living in denial these past 10 years I would be much more concerned, but he has been working on bringing this struggle under the control of the Holy Spirit and you need to be grateful for that.

For many men this could be a very long struggle, but one that God will bring more and more victory as they seek to walk in obedience. For others it is a sin that is easily dealt with.

Dear, it will be important for you to know that it is not profitable for you to ever know the details of your husband's struggle in this area. Part of his protection of you is desiring to keep you from struggling with your own desirability as a wife (since for him this is probably not an issue). You need to keep on your knees in prayer for him knowing this is an area of struggle. It could be that he has gone for months or years when things were relatively temptation-free, but knowing that
he still was suseptable.

Consider praying and fasting for him on a weekly basis. The greatest strength you can give him is your love and support. He is battling a very deep sin area in his life and he has been leaning on the support and prayers of his brothers in Christ. He also needs the support and prayers of his wife. God will be dealing with you in this area as well. Are you willing to continue to accept that *this* is the man God has given to you, that his struggles are also your struggles? Are you willing to take them upon your shoulders without weighing him down with guilt from you as well? For some men that added guilt from their wives makes things almost unbearable. I have been friends with many women over the years whose husbands have struggled with some type of "pornea" (sexual sin) and in every case, when the wife puts guilt on her husband he loses ground rather than gains ground. I am not trying to discourage you but to help you understand that what he needs from you is not pressure...allow the Holy Spirit to do that in his life, but love and prayer.

When he is on business trips, consider fasting for much of the time he is gone. Look to see how you can uphold him in prayer, especially during his vulnerable times. Don't ask him questions other than something like, "should I be praying more specifically now?" I knew a gal who wanted to know all the details of what he was struggling with. These things are not edifying (to say the least) and shouldn't be spoken of again...it causes your husband to "practice" this sinful behavior all over again.

This may have been rambling, but I have seen a number of women struggle with this and know that God's desire is to bring healing and wholeness to people's lives and marriages. Don't allow the enemy to convince you that the last 10 years of your marriage have been a lie...your husband obviously loves you and aside from this area your husband has kept from you it sounds like you have a strong relationship with one another. Be sure that you keep your heart focused on the Lord and His work in both yours and your husband's lives.

In His Joy and grace,
Kate Megill


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Jill Ehrlich, IN on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 3:01 p.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

I'm sorry to hear about your pain. I know your husband must be in pain also. Pornography is truly an addiction, almost as much as alcohol, drugs etc. I know it must be hard to see it that way, it seems as if he does have choices.
I take great encouragment that your husband is seeking help from men of God! Pray for your husband, and thank God that he sent you a husband so loving and kind. Look to the positive things about your husband, and allow the Holy Spirit to heal him.
I know these things cannot be easy alone, I will pray that the LORD OF ALL THINGS will give you strength.
Love In Him, Jill E.


Praying for you, dear sister (long)

Posted by Anon2 on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 3:30 p.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

Your story is very similar to mine. My friends think he's almost perfect. He's been a wonderful husband, VERY giving, gentle, devoted to the children, good provider, and so on.

My dh is also in a accountability group and has this problem. I know how very, very hurt you are, but your husband would not be in a accountability group if he was not trying to break free from this sin!

When my dh confessed (and his confession involved quite a bit of sin), I immediately forgave him and strove to support him. It was the hardest thing I ever did in my entire life. Please believe your husband that he doesn't want to hurt you. My husband frequently had thoughts of death because he could not break free. Once he did confess to me, Satan's grip was loosened, and he's now COMPLETELY healed. He praises God daily for this freedom. He believes he was in the bondage of pornography since he was a young teenager. No, he didn't have much opportunity to view it, but sex became something "dirty". The computer later opened up a whole new avenue into this sin.

I'd like to say one thing. A lot of the Christian literature I've read and radio programs I have heard on this subject cautions husbands to think carefully about whether on not they should tell their wives. I'm sure your dh did not want to hurt you, perhaps he thought you would leave him, and perhaps he thought you weren't strong enough to deal with this issue. Are you? (Remember -- I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me.)

I hope you are spending a lot of time in scripture. That's so important. The Lord loves you and your husband and will care for you. Place your trust in him.

I'd be happy to help you with anything that is troubling you. Ask away. I'm praying for you.

Your sister in Christ,
Anon2


Re: Praying for you, dear sister (long)

Posted by Anon (me again) on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 4:54 p.m., in response to Praying for you, dear sister (long), posted by Anon2 on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 3:30 p.m.

You are a source of inspiration for me. There was so much truth shared with me today! I appreciate your honesty and love. It is so difficult for me to displace this from myself and something I've done or failed at. I will be praying more diligently for him and praising God for my dh!!!
In Christ,
Anon


My downward spiral has turned UPWARDS!!!

Posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 5:05 p.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:58 p.m.

I am probably embarrasing myself cause I don't "know" you, but , I've seen your name and WISDOM lots!!! You definitely have the gift of wisdom and I can't tell you how much I appreciate it. I wish we (you and I)had talked before he told me the truth, because I forced every detail out of him and that was a mistake. I should not have gone there, it has only made the battle harder for me.
Again, you'll never know how the Lord used all of the responses. I've been blessed!!!
In Christ,
Me


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 5:08 p.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Jill Ehrlich, IN on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 3:01 p.m.

Jill,
Thank-you for your encouragement and prayers. I can't tell you how the Lord has used the responses to minister to me. I really needed it too! I DO need strength and I know where to get it!
Thank-you so much!
Me


Re: A year ago...

Posted by caroline in Ca on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 7:09 p.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

we found alcohol, cigarettes and chewing tobacco in our teenage sons room! I was upset! My husband was concerned but his response was "I just thank God that it isnt pornography!" I thought he was crazy! how could a book or movie be more harmful than what we were dealing with? He then explined something to me!

I knew that he worked with a group that trouble shoots church problems and takes them to prayer and finds solutions. I did not ever push any about it because it wasnt my ministry and I didnt want to be put in the position that I may be accused of gossip! Its not uncommon for this ministry to not be shared with wives...it is very sensitive information!

BUT! Thats when he shared with me how damaging and addicting pornography is. many, many pasotrs even have this problem. It has very little to do with their marriages...most of the time the addiction starts as teens. It seems that this problem is best dealt with between men but the men that are helping your husband may know of a woman that can help you deal with the backlash of it!

I am praying for you!


I understand

Posted by anon (3) on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 7:27 p.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

how you feel completely. However, be glad that your dh is and has been trying to get help. My husband doesnt even see what the problem is or that their is anything wrong with it (he does not attend church but claims to be saved???? that is not for me to judge though) It is soooo hurtful. I am very close to turning the internet off because of it. I can hit the "history" file and just see tons of places that he has visited (address only...I dont actually go there) I was molested as a child so sex to me is very hard and I already feel dirty. Knowing what he looks at on this computer only makes things worse for me. I will take the advice you have been given and just pray for him. Who do I think I am to be able to make him stop by asking him to anyway!!???!! I feel for you and can completely sympathize!

God bless you as you work through this together!


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Kathyj on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 7:53 p.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:58 p.m.

Dear Sister,

What a wonderful and loving response Kate gave to you. I believe that she is 100% right. I do feel led to say something else. Please don't be offended but.... this is your husband's test. It is between him and God. It is not about you. God is working with him. Your husband is trying to get to where God wants him to be. Your biggest job in your husband's test is not to get in the way. You do have a test but it is a different one.

Your test is how to handle the fact that your husband is not perfect. God is using this time for you to peel away the scars that came from your life as a child. God wants you to look at Him and not at other people's weaknesses. I know that it is very difficult when it involves our husbands but God needs us to be out of the way so that He can work on our husbands. There may be times when God will use you but it won't be when you are hurt. It will be when God's timing is right.

God knew that you would be going through this at this time and He has provided everything that you need to pass your test.

I care very much for what you are going through and you are in my prayers.

Kathyj


Thank you, Kate!

Posted by Also Anonymous on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 9:40 p.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:58 p.m.

My husband has struggled in this area, also. I've seen God's abundant grace in our lives as we grow, and especially in this area of his life.

Your wisdom was what I needed to read.

Thank you.


Re: I understand

Posted by Kathyj on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 10:38 p.m., in response to I understand, posted by anon (3) on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 7:27 p.m.


Anon3

I am so sorry. My heart cries out when I think of children being assaulted. Two of my nieces were sexually abused as children. I have seen the devastation that comes from child abuse. One of my nieces had to live with us during part of her teen-age years because of what she had gone through with her step-father. It took everything we had to help her. My husband and I did our best to find out how to help her and to let her know about God's love. The other niece told me that she had always felt that she must have done something to deserve this abuse. She must not have been a good girl or something. She told me this when she was 30. She had a small 8 year old daughter. I asked her if her 8 year old daughter could do anything so terrible to deserve this treatment. She looked at me in horror and said "no she is just a child." I asked then why couldn't my niece be as understanding about herself when she was a child of 6 and the abuse had started. As an adult, she finally realized that "IT WASN'T HER FAULT".

I hope that you know that it wasn't your fault.

I know that what you are going through with your husband is very difficult. It is good that you are not trying to take your husband's sins as your responsibility. It is good that you have given it to God to handle.

When you realize that God made the heavens and the earth without our help; that he made the universe without our help; and that we have gravity and oxygen to breath because of God, then you realize that He doesn't need our help to make things better. Sometimes He does give us chores to do because it helps us, not Him. (Sort of like what we do when our 3 or 4 year old wants to help. We give them a job that they can handle.)

My husband did not know the Lord in our early days of marriage. It made many things very difficult. I prayed a lot and I asked that I do what God wanted me to do. Well, I never got permission to do anything. Then after many trials and tests, my husband found out what Jesus Christ had done for him on the cross. He found this out not because of what I did but because God was able to work in his life without me getting in the way.

At the same time, I was going through my own brand of tests. Smile

You are in my prayers. I know that God has a plan for your life and that God has a plan for your husband's life.

Kathyj


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Dawn on Friday, 20 November 1998, at 11:05 a.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

Dear Dawn,

Please know that I am praying for you and that I went through the same thing years ago-Your life is NOT over and your marriage can be better because you are facing this together. The verse the Lord gave me when I became angry was, "entreat him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." You will be stronger and able to comfort others because you have faced this addiction together-it was not your fault-in any way! The enemy is active and your husband is a wounded soldier. God can and will use you to support and bandage his wounds, so to speak. Your support will see him through.(God supporting him through you, of course.

Our marriage actually got better once I got past the bruised ego point and realized that we still "had" what I thought we "had". A godly lady told me, "your husband was a godly man, but he had "feet of clay". I realized too, that it could've been me who had fallen. That helped me to want to help him!

God allowed us several years together, we were sooo young-and then he took my precious dh home to Heaven. (He was in his twenties) I am sooo very glad, I loved and supported this special yet wounded man. I will never regret sticking by his side-He needs you precious lady-God will equip you to help him.
Love and Prayers!!!


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Anon on Friday, 20 November 1998, at 4:44 p.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Kathyj on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 7:53 p.m.

You are so very right. I appreciate your honesty and prayers. It has been a real struggle to leave this between dh and God.
I am so grateful for all of the love and wisdom on this board!!!
In Christ,
anon


Just wanted to let you know

Posted by Anon 4 on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:31 a.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

I've been through this too. My dh has relied on me to help him. I wish he would go to other men instead. It is a burden I don't think I should carry, but I feel he needs me. He doesn't relate well with other men. Your dh has chosen a very loving path. Other men will understand the temptation while we as women usually don't.
My dh has experienced victory and great spiritual growth through this time. Your dh will too. Don't give up hope.


Thank-you again, Kate.

Posted by Anon 4 on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:34 a.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:58 p.m.

You have blessed me many times.


Small point of disagreement.

Posted by Me, too. on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:47 a.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Kate Megill on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:58 p.m.

Kate--

Your advice is tremendous, but I have to disagree with the idea of the husband not sharing details. Knowing how and what he was looking at and how he found it was healing, not hurtful to me and the confession was good for our marriage. We have young daughters and I wanted to know frankly if he was into child pornography. It had not gotten that far, but he had worked his way from pretty tame stuff down to just starting with very young teenagers by the time I caught him. Child porn was the next step. The Lord's timing was fortunate. He would have ended up there sooner or later and what a man sees long enough, he will act out. Mine did on me without me knowing it.

If he'd kept details from me after I caught him in the act, I would have gone on forever wondering when he was going to do something to our girls. Now I know that it stopped with me and I can handle that. He's at the place now where he knows he cannot be alone with the computer. One day soon he'll gain complete victory and I'll be able to leave him at home alone--right now he doesn't want me to, and I don't mind staying by his side while he browses. God is good!

I understand why you're saying it, but I think it might be more of a matter of the situation and the partners involved. A flat statement of "no details" I believe is wrong. It certainly would have been for us! I love him all the more for answering my difficult questions and his confession gave him relief that there's no secrets anymore.

Respectfully,

Me, too


Re: Small point of disagreement.

Posted by Kate Megill on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 11:18 a.m., in response to Small point of disagreement., posted by Me, too. on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 9:47 a.m.

Dear Sister,

I understand your point but I still maintain that it is neither profitable nor edifying for husbands to tell their wives all the details of their struggles with this area. Simply finding out that the sin was not dealing with pedophilia is enough to know. Too many women want to know the specifics of this and that...none of those things should be discussed as they are defiling to those who speak about it and those who hear it.

There is a difference between open confession which includes being frank about how far things have gone and giving all of the details about what was seen or imagined.

I am glad that things worked out well in your situation and rejoice that God has brought greater love and security through your communication, but I have seen too many times where women heard things they had never imagined and it helped drive a deeper wedge in their hearts between them and their husbands. There are many ways we can help our husbands in this area without having to know all of the details...as wives hearts and minds remain pure in this area there is often less room for the enemy to plague them with deeper doubts and fears.

We may have different perspectives on this point, but I am rejoicing in our unity in looking to the Lord's holiness and purity reigning in the lives of our husbands (and us).

In His Joy and Grace,
Kate Megill


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by anon on Monday, 23 November 1998, at 12:39 a.m., in response to Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by Anon on Thursday, 19 November 1998, at 2:09 p.m.

Dear anon! Oh how my heart weeps for you! It must be devestating. I want to try and give you a little insight. This is an area that I myself have struggled with and let me tell you - it is a STRONGHOLD!!! I truly believe that for the victory to be won in this area,or in any stronghold - there must be prayer and FASTING!! I was abused sexually when I was young and blocked it from my memory. As I grew up, I knew in my head that my preoccupation with sexual thoughts and fantasies were wrong but couldn't feel anything. This continued throughout my marriage and affected my Christian walk - obviously! This is an almost impossible struggle to mention within a church concept and so I kept trying to make the changes on my own. Until the Lord dealt with me and I realized that this was a stronghold, I would slip and fall every time I tried to correct my failings. Do not be too hard on your dh - although you feel that he has betrayed you in the most intimate, personal way - the issue is not so much about you as it is about our yielding to the Lord. My husband to this day does not know about this part of my life and the Lord has graciously allowed me through much trial and error, prayer and travail to finally! break the bondage that I was under. Do not doubt your dh's love for you! This is an extremely humiliating addiction and he needs you to support him and be his helpmeet in overcoming this. Love him with all the love that the Lord will give you for him. Do not sit in judgement - his sin is no worse in God's eyes than our sins of gossip or overindulgence or whatever you struggle with. Our God is faithful to supply all our needs - even the need for love when we don't want to love. I am upholding you in prayer. Persevere through this and see what God can do through difficult situations!!

In Christ!


Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long)

Posted by Anon on Monday, 23 November 1998, at 1:36 p.m., in response to Re: Can anyone help me understand this? (long), posted by anon on Monday, 23 November 1998, at 12:39 a.m.

I can't tell you how the Lord has worked thru you women!!! I am so blessed by the love and wisdom here!
I am working towards lifting my dh and his sin up to the Lord and trusting Him for the work He is doing in my dh's life.
Thank-you for everything. It was very helpful, and I will pray for you, too.


Never mind, we're in agreement! Smile

Posted by Me, too on Monday, 23 November 1998, at 5:32 p.m., in response to Re: Small point of disagreement., posted by Kate Megill on Saturday, 21 November 1998, at 11:18 a.m.

Hi, Kate!

Thank you for the clarification...I was hearing you say "details" as in asking about anything going on beyond the knowing a problem existed.

No, I didn't ask for the nitpicky stuff, just the frequency and type and how found, so we were actually agreeing. I misunderstood.

Thanks again!

Me, too

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